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What kind of grass does well in St. George with minimal watering and how/when can we start it from seed?

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"I am a new home owner in Saint George with absolutely NO former gardening experience (aside from killing a few house plants). I actually have many questions but will limit it to two.
1) What kind of grass does well in this area with minimal watering and how/when can we start it from seed? The soil is very sandy, never tested and the lawn will have moderate to heavy traffic. 2) What is a good gardening resource for a beginner who is entirely illiterate in gardening terms and techniques but still wants to do it all "myself.""

Your choice of grass in the St. George area is going to be somewhat dependent on your expectations for your lawn. Two possible species for you to use are tall fescue and buffalograss. Tall fescue is commonly used in St. George. It is a cool-season grass that looks very similar to Kentucky bluegrass. It is also very deeply-rooted which allows it to survive drought stress well. There are several tall fescue sod suppliers to choose from in your area and seeding is also an option. Another possibility for you is Buffalograss. It is a warm-season grass that has a more blue-gray color than Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue. While there is a Buffalograss sod supplier in Sandy, it might be more cost-effective for you to seed due to your location. The big question in deciding which species to choose is how much watering do you want to do? Tall fescue has a water requirement that is slightly less than Kentucky bluegrass. This means that you would need to apply approximately 30 inches of water to it each year. Buffalograss, on the other hand, uses about 1/4 the water of Kentucky bluegrass and so you would need to apply approximately 8 inches of water to it each year. The only drawback of Buffalograss is that is is a bit slow to repair itself and does not respond well to traffic. If you anticipate a great deal of wear from pets or children, you may want to look more closely at tall fescue.

Posted on 12 Sep 2006

Nancy Mesner
Program Leader, Water quality Specialist

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